English 150

Senior Seminar: Books and Blogs: 20th- Century Print Culture

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
16 Spring 2007 Hollis, Catherine
Hollis, Catherine
TTh 3:30-5 205 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

(This is a partial book list; it will be expanded. Please attend the first class meeting before you buy these books.) Finkelstein and McCleery: An Introduction to Book History; Djuna Barnes: Nightwood; Borges: Ficciones; Aaron Cometbus: Despite Everything: A Cometbus Omnibus; Martha Cooley: The Archivist; T.S. Eliot: The Waste Land: A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts; Virginia Woolf: A Room of One?s Own; Yeats: Collected Poems. Some of the texts for this course will be available in a course reader, which will include recent journalism on the print vs. digital debate, short stories and poems that foreground ?the book,? and facsimile representations of original publication formats.


" We are living in a time of technological revolution that may be changing the way we read. Digital media?blogs, magazines, hypertext fiction, e-books?place the continued existence of the paper-based book into question, generating debates and jeremiads about these competing technologies. Meanwhile, the ?history of the book? is a growing academic discipline and ?book arts? (as taught in the San Francisco Center for the Book) attracts a growing number of practitioners. Is the book as object or technology in any danger of extinction? This course proposes to examine contemporary debates about the status of the book by placing them in context with a history of 20th-century print culture. Because digital media is often seen as a democratic alternative to conventional methods of publication, our historical survey will focus on previous examples of alternatives to commercial publication practices.

Accordingly, we will initially concentrate on modernist print culture: the little magazines, small presses, and social networks that emerged to publish and promote Anglo-American modernism. We will analyze famous case histories of modernist publication?Eliot?s Waste Land, Joyce?s Ulysses, Yeats? and Woolf?s self-publication?in addition to those less familiar. From this foundation, we will move on to alternative print cultures in the later 20th century by examining productions from the small presses associated with the feminist movement, with experimental poetry, and with punk culture. Whenever possible, we will consider these texts? original publication formats through photocopies and archival samples. Throughout this course, we will ask ourselves whether the mode of publication influences how we read and interpret texts, whether we?re reading a facsimile of the typescript to The Waste Land or downloading Gertrude Stein?s Tender Buttons from Project Gutenberg. "

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